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muffler lifespan

edited August 2012 in Repair and Maintenance
I had some suspension repairs done on my truck recently and I told the shop I thought my tailpipe was loose and to fix that too. It turns out the muffler is starting to go (rusting at the pipe connections allowing the play I noticed). Anyway they tacked it as a temporary remedy but I'm going to need a new muffler sooner rather than later. This got me thinking when I was checking my bills for the warranty - how long should a muffler typically last? It seems a lot of mufflers are 'guaranteed' for as long as you own the vehicle but the conditions for 'free' replacement involve returning to the original point of sale/installation - something that for me is just not economical considering how cheap said replacement muffler can be acquired over the internet. Plus I still have to pay the labor. Anyway, I live in an area that responds to winter by salting the bejeesus out of the roads and I've got just over nine years and 66K miles on this one so I'm guessing that's above average in terms of life?
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Comments

  • My early 70's Ford truck has had one muffler replacement. That occured while I lived in Colorado, with a lot of snow and salt on the roads in the winter. In a snowy climate, and with say 15k/year of driving, I think if you get 5-6 years out of a muffler, that's pretty good.

    By contrast, my early 90's Toyota Corolla with 200k miles still has the orginal muffler, which appears good as new from a visual inspection at least. It has been driven in coastal Calif for the most part, so very little snow and salt.
  • edited August 2012
    Mufflers on a new vehicle are covered under the basic warranty on the vehicle. Once the vehicle is out of warranty it's the responsibilty of the owner to replace the muffler if it wears out.

    As far as life of a replacement muffler it depends on the brand of muffler. For example, if you were to pick up a Maramount muffler and then pick up a Walker muffler for your vehicle, the Walker muffler will be heavier than the Maramount muffler because the Walker is better constructed. So it depends on how much you spend on the muffler that dictates it's life.

    Tester
  • I'd say lasting 9 years is doing great for salty roads.
  • Some exhaust systems are made of stainless steel, including the muffler. These exhaust systems can last virtually "forever". Mufflers made of regular materials last 5, 10, 15 years. Many rust from the inside out. This happens in cars frequently driven only a few miles per trip. The water condensation will end up rusting the inside of the muffler. Cars driven on longer trips more often heat up the muffler enough to "burn off" this condensation. Muffler life isn't about years, or miles, it is about the habits of the driver and the conditions the muffler encounters.
  • edited August 2012
    I live bear Buffalo NY abd my 2002 Town and Country needed the original stainless steel muffler replaced last year. On the other habd, when mufflers were made of plain sreel and I lived pnly a mile from work, I went through a muffler a year.
  • My Uncle made a muffler out of stainless steel for his 1965 Chevy C20. I took it off the truck in 1977. I put it on my Dad's 72 Ford F150. It then went on my 1978 F150. After that it was a tractor for while. It's now on the wall of my cousin's garage along with the bumper he made for that same truck. So a well made one can last a long time.
  • A couple of cars I owned in the past had the muffler located at the rear of the car. The 1978 Oldmobile Cutlass I owned had the muffler mounted transversly. I replaced the muffler at least once every four years. To me, this location didn't make sense because the exhaust gases were cooler when the reached the rear of the car and the moisture, along with the corrosive byproducts of combustion ate out the muffler more quickly. I think the 1965 Rambler Classic that I owned had the muffler mounted the same way at the rear of the car.
    I found on cars I owned back in the early 1960s that a glass packed straight through muffler lasted longer. They weren't much noisier than a regular muffler and didn't cost as much.
  • A couple of cars I owned in the past had the muffler located at the rear of the car. The 1978 Oldmobile Cutlass I owned had the muffler mounted transversly. I replaced the muffler at least once every four years. To me, this location didn't make sense because the exhaust gases were cooler when the reached the rear of the car and the moisture, along with the corrosive byproducts of combustion ate out the muffler more quickly. I think the 1965 Rambler Classic that I owned had the muffler mounted the same way at the rear of the car.
    I found on cars I owned back in the early 1960s that a glass packed straight through muffler lasted longer. They weren't much noisier than a regular muffler and didn't cost as much.
  • Most cars today, the entire exhaust system is stainless from end to end..They can last the life of the car..
  • I believe even on the lifetime guaranteed ones, it doesn't cover the labor or other incidental parts so why bother. On my Rivieras, I never replaced them in 20-25 years. My 86 Park Avenue needed one every two years because it was driven for a couple miles and shut off. I've got a 95 Olds in the garage with 200K with the original muffler and pipes, so just depends. I did have to replace the cat on my 89 Riv due to rust though but not the muffler. You can usually figure one muffler and tailpipe first, then all the rest of it the second time.
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